The USP of Ramesh Aravind is his gregariousness, humility and humbleness. Affectionately called as a Kannada Kamal Hasan by his friends and well-wishers, Ramesh has reached the coveted mile stone of acting in a century of films in 25 years. The specialty of Ramesh Aravind is his immunity to any controversy or gossip in Sandalwood. He considers his journey that began 25 years ago as a beautiful and wonderful journey. He has played a variety of roles and taken up a variety of responsibilities in the film industry – acting, directing, script-writing and anchoring. He shares his sweet memories and the journey with Y Maheswara Reddy.What do you feel about your 25 years journey in Sandalwood?
It is interesting, wonderful and sweet and I am very happy with it. It is my duty and responsibility to express my gratitude to the people Karnataka, especially cine-goers who encouraged and supported me all these years.
Your first film was Sundara Swapnagalu. Do you think that you have achieved your ambitions and your dreams have become real?
As an actor, I do not have any dreams or ambitions. It all happened. I made my debut in film industry with Mouna Geethe but my second film Sundara Swapnagalu was released much before the release of my first film. I never dreamt of becoming an artist. My father owned a small-scale industry. He wanted his three sons to become mechanical engineers to take care of the small-scale industry. The generosity of my father is that he never objected when I said I wanted to act in films.
You are known for warmth and friendliness. There is no complaint against you by anyone in Kannada film industry. What is the secret?
I imbibed my best habits from my parents. My father never complained against anything or anybody. He never demanded others to do this or that. I learnt from him how to be happy and friendly with others.
Generally, film stars are known for hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Have you ever come across such a situation during your 25-year journey in the film industry?
It depends on the attitude and the behavior of an individual. An artiste hogs the limelight for all wrong reasons whenever he opts for what is not right or legal. My work is my business card or USP. I focus on my work on the sets. I never indulge in gossip or talk ill of others. It is a waste of time. I do not have any other commitments except to be on the sets on time during the shooting or be at home spending quality time with family. I do not visit any club to attend parties or other functions. I will be either at the shooting location or at home but never at other places.
You have now graduated as a director. You have had an opportunity to direct a veteran actor, Kamal Hassan. How did you feel while handling the megaphone for Kamal Haasan?
I love directing. It is a wonderful, interesting and challenging. It is a vast subject and there is a lot to learn. I had an opportunity to direct great actor Kamal Haasan. It was a great experience. We can make excellent films if we have five artistes like Kamal Haasan on the sets. My latest film as a director, Gandu Endare Gandu, a re-make of Telugu film Bhale Bhale Magadovoi, is set to release shortly. Ganesh and Shanvi Srivasta are the lead pair in this film while Rockline Venkatesh is the producer. I enjoyed every minute during the shooting. Your 100th film Pushpaka Vimana is scheduled for release shortly. You have played the role of a mentally retarded father. How did you find it? Was it challenging?
It was quite challenging for me. I had spent lot of time on how to hone my acting skills to play such a difficult role. I happened to see a mentally retarded person while participating in the shooting of my film Ray in Madikeri. The way he used to move his eyes and body language had attracted my attention. I observed his body language with keen interest. It helped me a lot to play the mentally retarded father role in this film. I happen to meet some children with autism during realty shows and other functions. This role is one of the toughest and most special roles for me during my 25 years as an actor.
Are you content with being a hero for 25 years? Do you think there is something to achieve as an actor and a director?
There is a lot to do as an actor and director too. It is too early for me to retire or to be content. I will continue to do whatever is possible. As I said, I am very happy with the encouragement and support I received from the people of Karnataka.
Do you participate in social activities?
Yes, I continue to do something for the society. A few non-governmental organizations invite me to their functions that are aimed for helping needy people. I am also associated with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation to create awareness among the people on the importance of cleanliness.
Recently, the Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce has decided to ask Sandalwood actors not to attend realty shows organized by various TV channels. What is your opinion?
We are not doing anything illegal. We should allow others to do what they are capable of. I cannot ask a person not to drive a vehicle if he wants to, or he is capable of doing so. It is not the first time the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has come out with this type of suggestion. There was a similar demand or suggestion from the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce last year. These issues can be sorted out through discussions. Their intention is good but we are not doing any anything illegal. I am of the opinion that everyone has the right to do the right things in life.
(This article was published in the recent issue of Karnataka Today Magazine)